When Chinese New Year rolls around every year, it’s a rush for everyone to get the yummiest CNY snacks at the most affordable prices. Naturally, most people would lean towards the most traditional and obvious location of Chinatown, though this results in long queues in the sweltering Singaporean heat.
For our Northies out there, here are 9 neighbourhood shops in the North that will let you stock up on your CNY must-haves this year without the Chinatown crowds. Definitely an incentive even for non-Northsiders to venture across the island!
Located in the industrial area of Woodlands, hoards of buses can be seen dropping off elderly citizens outside of J&C Bakery on a Thursday morning – and for good reason. With rows and rows of red-lidded snacks hidden inside the store at discounted prices, you can be assured that this is a bargain you don’t want to miss out on.
J&C Bakery, with 22 years of history, has snacks such as Pineapple Tarts ($16.80 for 24 pieces), Love Letters ($12) and Fried Crab Meat Strips ($10). The continual sale of CNY goodies year-round means that your cravings will always be satisfied.
While an industrial building may seem dull, you’ll be amazed at some of the interesting sights you’ll find. Stumbling across Thomson Foodstuff Manufacturing (with a history of about 40 years), there were endless rows of Huat Kueh being individually marked. Many of the friendly people there are also keen to have a chat with you, which is only an added bonus to the cheaper CNY snacks you’ll bring home!
Address: Block 15 Woodlands Loop #03-03, Singapore 738322
Telephone: 6753 3500
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 9AM-6PM | Sun: 9AM-4PM (Closed on Public Holidays)
Just a short walk away from J&C, DJ Bakery will also give you a convenient fix for any and every CNY snack need. The warehouse-style bakery is entirely filled with every CNY snack that you could possibly think of–and of course, free samples for you to enjoy as you walk around.
The bakery offers discounts off all the CNY snacks – exclusively for the Woodlands branch, selling snacks that are made fresh daily. Get your “Golden Pillow” pineapple tarts at $13.80 here, or zhiku chips (made of arrowhead) at $10 per bottle. Either way, you can be assured of the freshness and affordability of all the goods here at DJ Bakery.
Adorable cookies in the same of dragons costing $10
Address: 6 Woodlands Terrace Singapore
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 7AM-10.30PM
Telephone: 6555 6351
For those that can foresee the need for a lot of CNY goodies this year, then DJ Roti Bakery is the place to go to. The bakery, of which half has been filled with CNY goodies for this time of the year, offers a weighing process of payment instead.
Shrimp rolls go at 100g for $3, while Kueh Balu at 7 pieces for $1 and Kok Zai Peanut Puffs at 100g for $2.50. Simply estimate the amount you need on the weighing balance, and you’re done! Time to go home with a large bag of these goodies for your CNY guests (or perhaps just for yourself, who’s judging?).
Address: 743 Yishun Ave 5, Singapore 076038
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 9AM-9PM
If venturing to more remote areas is not for you, the various bakeries situated right within Admiralty MRT Station have got you covered. Delicious CNY food when you don’t even have to exit the MRT station? Count us in.
Swee Heng, with a large display of CNY food right at its entrance, has Love Letters With Black Sesame ($13.90), Lotus Crisps ($13.90) and Cuttlefish Crispy Snacks ($14.90).
Address: 678A Woodlands Avenue 6, #01-12, 731678
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 5.30AM-11PM
Telephone: 6893 9949
Meanwhile, Baker Talent just a few stores down, also has Original Egg Rolls ($12.80), Chicken Floss Crackers ($13.80) and Kuih Bangkit ($12.80).
Aside from the convenience factor, the friendly people working at these bakeries are all too eager to let you try various samples as you pass by. The next time you’re at the MRT, keep your eyes peeled for some CNY food-tasting opportunities!
Address: 678A Woodlands Ave 6, #01-13 Singapore 731678
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 9AM-10PM
Telephone: 6468 7681
Located in the heart of the newly-built Kampung Admiralty (opened in May 2018), KZ Bakery is a hidden gem in the bustling hawker centre with a large display of eye-catching red goodies.
While the snacks go for the affordable price of $13.80 per container (the more you buy, the cheaper it gets!), matcha-lovers might want to look out for the Matcha Love Letters and Cheese Peanut Fritters which will be sure to make anyone’s mouth water.
Considering that Kampung Admiralty is Singapore’s first integrated public development built to meet the needs of both the elderly and younger population, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that even the CNY snacks come with less salt, oil and sugar.
The same delicious food but healthier this time – definitely a bonus considering the amount of junk food we can consume during CNY!
Address: Kampung Admiralty, #02-30 676 Woodlands Drive 71, Singapore 730676
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 7AM-10.30PM
A true gem situated in Yishun, Chez Rose is the place where you will taste the best pineapple tarts of your life. 32 years old and owned by a married couple till today, the bakery sells handmade treats with touches of history hidden in every corner of the shop.
The owner, who had travelled across countries like Germany and Holland to learn how to bake, had returned to open up his own bakery. The old-school white-tiles of the bakery, vintage-looking bicycle tucked in a corner, alongside the decorations handmade by the owner’s son result in the warm feeling of a homely bakery.
Decor entirely handmade by the owner’s son, with oven mitts on the left and a clock made from an IKEA plate on the right
With a kitchen behind the bakery, almost everything is both baked and sold in the same place. The pineapple tarts, which just melt in your mouth, taste heavenly. Whether you live in the North or happen to swing by the region, Chez Rose is an absolute must-visit!
Address: Blk 235 Yishun Street 21 #01-466, Singapore 760235
Telephone: 6753 3303
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 9AM-9PM
The entrance of Hong Kao Liao Li is already flooded with red and gold-capped containers of CNY food waiting for you to take them home. The hunger-inducing sight is truly enough for anyone to go mad, with classic Pineapple Tarts ($22) and Fish Skin ($16).
This specific branch of Hong Kao Liao Li uniquely bakes its range of food at the outlet itself. A glance at the back of the bakery will show you the kitchen where all the magic happens, with large ovens, steaming trays of freshly-baked bread and of course, the final product – CNY goodies!
It is always a pleasant surprise knowing that you baked goods are made fresh and at more traditional bakeries today. The next time you’re in the North, drop by the bakery to have a chat with the people that do the actual baking and learn about the actual baking process. You may very well learn quite a lot!
Address: Block 291, Yishun Street 22, Singapore 760291
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 6.30AM-10.30PM
Selling traditional food since 1969, Fragrance’s ever popular bak kwa is a must-try. Also a walkable distance from DJ Bakery, this is where you’d find adorable pig-shaped bak kwa. Starting at prices of $20.40 for 600g for Bak Kwa Strips, it’s no surprise that there are large groups of people flocking here as well for their CNY shopping.
Aside from the bak kwa, Fragrance Foodstuff also has a wide range of salted egg food such as Salted Egg Fish Skin ($12) or Salted Egg Potato Chips ($7.50). The more you buy, the bigger the discount. It sounds almost too good to be true!
The mouth-watering range of salted egg food available here is a dream come true for any salted egg fan.
Address: 60 Woodlands Terrace Singapore 738431
Telephone: 6257 8608
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 8.30AM-9PM
Meeting a myriad of people from many different walks of life, you will realise that most elderly people will treat you like their own grandchildren if you took the time to engage them. The sincerity and openness from the people encountered during this journey was incredibly heart-warming.
While the North certainly has its share of delicious Chinese New Year goodies, it is also full of colour and life that is a true joy to experience!
Image credit: Kampung Sembawang
CNY period or not, there are always a ton of new updates on Kampung Sembawang’s Facebook page, whether it be must-know places to eat or other new discoveries!
Check out our other North side articles here:
This post was brought to you by Kampung Sembawang.
Photography by Wei Shin Heng.
You don't have to travel to Europe to experience snow.
Farms, cafes, and picturesque hilltop views make this town a great weekend getaway.
MRT hacks in Singapore Ah, the MRT. We complain about it all the time. It’s…
We say nay to photo bombers.
Who says the holiday only starts when you reach your destination? We say, even the…
If your better half’s love language is gift-receiving, pay attention.